Antony Blinken says the goal of the United States is not to contain China, but to defend order based on international norms.
An increasingly powerful China is challenging the world order, acting “more repressively” at home and “more aggressively” abroad as it tests its growing influence, said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken , in an interview on American television.
“What we’ve witnessed in recent years is that China is acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad. That’s a fact,” Blinken said in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday.
The top U.S. diplomat said China was behaving “increasingly contradictorily,” but when asked if Washington was heading for a military confrontation with Beijing, Blinken replied: “It is deeply against the interests of the United States. China and the United States to get to that point, or even to go in that direction. “
Biden has identified competition with China as the biggest foreign policy challenge of his administration. In his first speech to Congress last Wednesday, he pledged to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the Indo-Pacific and to drive technological development in the United States.
Biden said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that in competing to be the dominant power in the 21st century, “we welcome competition and not seek conflict.”
Blinken arrived in London on Sunday to hold a meeting of G7 foreign ministers China is one of the topics on the agenda.
During the 60-minute interview, Blinken said that China is “the only country in the world that has the military, economic and diplomatic capacity to undermine or challenge the rule-based order that matters so much to us and that we are determined to stand up for.
“Our purpose is not to contain China, to slow it down, to keep it low; it is to uphold this rule – based order that China poses a challenge. “
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen in recent years over human rights trade issues, including what Washington has described as genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs in the region of the far west of Xinjiang, repression against pro-democracy politicians and activists in Hong Kong and the self-governing island of Taiwan.
Last month, Blinken said the U.S. was concerned about China’s aggressive actions against Taiwan and warned that it would be a “grave mistake” for anyone to try to change the status quo in the Western Pacific by force.
The U.S. has a long-standing commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to ensure the island has the capacity to defend itself and maintain peace and security in the western Pacific, Blinken said.
Taiwan has been complaining for the past few months about repeated missions of the Chinese Air Force near the island, which China claims as its own.